Russell handed one-year ban for doping whereabouts violation
West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has been handed a one-year ban from cricket for failing to file his whereabouts three times in 2015. An independent anti-doping tribunal delivered the verdict in Kingston on Tuesday (January 31). The ban will be effective from January 31, 2017 and will end on January 30, 2018.
Russell, who is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained recently in the Big Bash League, was hopeful of escaping a ban but the tribunal found him guilty of violating the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) guidelines, where a player missing three tests within a period of 12 months amounts to a failed dope test. The 28-year-old might appeal the ban as confirmed by his lawyer Patrick Foster.
The charge was pressed by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) in March 2016 after Russell was named in the West Indies squad for the World T20 in India, a tournament that he went on to win a month later. Later, Russell pleaded innocence by stating that he couldn’t file his whereabouts due to his busy cricketing commitments and hence had asked his agent Will Quinn to handle proceedings. He went on to mention that he hadn’t been properly trained to file whereabouts.
He also revealed in July last year during the Caribbean Premier League that it had been ‘stressing and depressing’ for him to carry on playing with the hearings happening at the same time.
Apart from representing West Indies on the international stage, Russell also plays for various clubs around the world including Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and the ban will now force the teams to bring in a temporary reinforcement.